When should a hunter wear a fall-arrest system ?

When hunting big game, a fall-arrest system can be a life-saving piece of equipment.

When it comes to hunting, safety should always be a top priority. One important safety measure for hunters is the use of a fall-arrest system (FAS). A FAS is designed to prevent falls from elevated hunting platforms, such as tree stands. It can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a fall. But when should a hunter wear a fall-arrest system?

Hunter with a fall-arrest system
Credit : Maslowski Steve

The short answer is that a hunter should wear a fall-arrest system whenever they are hunting from an elevated platform. This includes hunting from tree stands, elevated blinds, or any other structure that puts the hunter at a height above the ground. Even if a hunter feels confident and comfortable on an elevated platform, accidents can happen and it only takes one misstep or moment of distraction to result in a fall.

Risk of serious injury when falling

Falls from elevated platforms can be extremely dangerous, and even fatal. According to the Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation, falls from tree stands account for the majority of hunting-related injuries and deaths each year. In fact, over 3,000 hunters are injured in tree stand accidents each year in the United States alone. These accidents can result in broken bones, head injuries, and even death.

Wearing a fall-arrest system is the best way to prevent these accidents from occurring. A FAS typically consists of a harness that is worn by the hunter. This harness is then attached to a safety line that is secured to the tree or other structure. If the hunter were to fall, the FAS would prevent them from hitting the ground, and could potentially save their life.

It is important to note that not all fall-arrest system are created equal. It is important to choose a FAS that is specifically designed for hunting and that meets industry safety standards. Additionally, it is important to wear the FAS properly and to follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer. A poorly worn or improperly used FAS may not provide adequate protection in the event of a fall.

Modern FAS designed to be comfortable

Some hunters may argue that wearing a FAS is uncomfortable or restricts their movement while hunting. While it is true that wearing a FAS may take some getting used to, the discomfort is minimal compared to the potential consequences of a fall. Additionally, many modern FAS are designed to be comfortable and unobtrusive, and should not significantly impact a hunter’s mobility.

It is also important to note that hunting with a fall-arrest system should not be limited to experienced hunters. Novice hunters, or those who are new to hunting from elevated platforms, may be at an even higher risk for falls. It is important for all hunters to educate themselves on the importance of using a FAS and to make it a regular part of their hunting routine.

In addition to wearing a fall-arrest system, hunters should also take other safety measures when hunting from elevated platforms. This may include inspecting the platform for damage or wear before each use, using a secure ladder or other means of accessing the platform, and avoiding hunting during inclement weather conditions that may increase the risk of a fall.

In conclusion, wearing a fall-arrest system is an essential safety measure for hunters who are hunting from elevated platforms. Accidents can happen to even the most experienced hunters. A fall from an elevated platform can result in serious injury or death. By wearing a properly fitted and certified FAS, hunters can protect themselves and prevent falls from happening in the first place. Remember, when it comes to hunting, safety should always be the top priority.

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